Posted on Sa 26 August 2006

Launchpad is Evil

I always think twice before entering my name in any web form or posting to a mailing list. Is the web site/list respectable? Do the owners of the web site have any commercial interest in my name (spam, marketing, ...)? Would I ever regret that my name can be found with Google in context with this web site/mailing list? If I enter my name is it used for collecting data about me? Is there any reasonable privacy policy?

Often enough I refrain from entering my name after deciding that the answers to these questions are unsatisfactory. I like to be in control of my name. If I am not confident that I remain in control I don't enter my name to any service.

Recently it came to my attention that Canonical decided to create an account (!) for me in their commercial, proprietary bug tracker called "Launchpad". I never asked for one! I never even considered having one, because their service clearly is nothing that would pass the tests mentioned above. They are a commercial service, my account data is apparently "content" for them, they don't seem to have any privacy policy. (At least I couldn't find any, the navigation is pretty crappy.)

Canonical's nimbus of being "the good guys" doesn't hinder them to incorporate data from free sources (apparently they got my data from the Debian BTS) and make a commercial service of it, without even asking the original contributors if that would be OK with them, or if it is OK to incorporate their name or personal profile in the service. Apparently Canonical is not much better than a common spam harvester: generating personal profiles for business, without consent of the "victim".

If anyone from Canonical reads this: It is not OK for me to use my name as "content" for your commercial, proprietary service. Please remove any reference to my name from your "account" database. I don't want to have a Launchpad account. I don't plan to use Launchpad. Let me decide if I ever want to join! Thank you very much.

Update: I especially dislike the fact that they created an account for me in a service where Hitler apparently already has six (!) accounts. I am very sure that I don't want to be part of that community.

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